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On June 28, 2022, OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPRM) to revise its standards for occupational exposure to lead. This revision comes after recent medical research on workplace lead exposure shows adverse health effects that can occur in adults at lower blood lead levels than previously recognized. The current OSHA lead standards will be modified to reflect the proper amounts.

OSHA is requesting that public comments on the proposal be submitted by Aug. 29, 2022.

Revision Overview

OSHA is seeking public comment for the revision of both the general industry and construction industry standards to reduce the triggers for medical removal protection and medical surveillance as well as prevent harmful health effects in workers exposed to lead more effectively.

OSHA is specifically asking the public to comment on the following areas of the lead standards:

  • Blood lead level triggers for medical removal protection
  • Medical surveillance provisions, including triggers and frequency of blood lead monitoring
  • Permissible exposure limit
  • Ancillary provisions for personal protective equipment, housekeeping, hygiene and training

The ANPRM will also gather comments on current employer practices that address workplace lead exposure, associated costs and other areas of interest.

Employers subject to the lead exposure standards should review the ANPRM and submit any comments by Aug. 29, 2022.

The ANPRM will also gather comments on current employer practices that address workplace lead exposure, associated costs and other areas of interest.

Employers subject to the lead exposure standards should review the ANPRM and submit any comments by Aug. 29, 2022.

Safety Tips for Dealing With Lead

Lead is a toxic substance that builds up in the body, posing serious health risks to those exposed to it. When you work with lead, it accumulates on your clothing and skin in the form of dust.

Lead can be inhaled or ingested, and can damage the lungs, kidneys, nervous system, intestines and reproductive system. There is no cure for lead poisoning. As such, it’s vital to practice proper precautions when working with lead. Follow this guidance to protect yourself from lead hazards at the construction site.

How Might I Be Exposed?

Lead can be found in the paint and pipes of buildings built before 1978. During activities such as demolition, window replacement or opening up walls, dangerous amounts of built-up lead dust can be released, putting you at risk.

In order to do work on houses that contain lead-based paint, our firm has been certified. This means we are expected to uphold certain standards to protect you and the occupants of the building. Here are some safety tips to minimize lead risks on the job.

Contain the Work Area

Contain your work area to keep occupants out and to be sure that other areas of the building are not contaminated with lead dust.

  • Create a sealed air lock at the entrance to the area in which you are working, and at the vents and heating ducts.
  • Remove everything, including furniture, from the work area. If an item is too large to move, cover it with heavy plastic sheeting secured with tape.
  • Cover floors with heavy plastic sheeting. Cover doors with two layers of protective sheeting: one with a vertical slit, and one overlapping layer hung from the top of the doorframe.

Protect Yourself

Without the right protective equipment, you may ingest or inhale lead. Always wear the following equipment to avoid such a hazard:

  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Disposable protective coveralls and shoe covers
  • A painter’s hat
  • A properly fitting HEPA respirator

Thoroughly wash your hands and face whenever you stop to eat, drink, smoke or use tobacco. Carefully remove all clothing and launder it separately before returning home.

Minimize the Dust

  • Use wet sanders or misters to keep down dust from sanding and drilling.
  • Use HEPA vacuum attachments when you are able.

For more environmental information, contact INSURICA today.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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